Read the PDF of our statement here.
Earlier today, Cleveland officials announced internal disciplinary actions against the two police officers involved in the shooting death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice on November 22, 2014. Cleveland Police Officer Timothy Loehmann, who fatally shot Tamir, was fired, while Officer Frank Garmback, who drove the patrol car that day, was suspended for 10 days and ordered to receive additional training. NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) Associate Director-Counsel Janai Nelson issued the following statement in response:
“For over two and a half years, we have been waiting for the officers responsible for killing Tamir Rice to be held accountable. We remain deeply frustrated that neither officer faced charges in a court of law, but we are pleased that Officer Loehmann has been fired and that Officer Garmback will be suspended. It is disgraceful, however, that Officer Loehmann is only facing disciplinary action because of false answers he provided on his job application, and not also for killing a child. His lies are indicative of why he was unfit to join the force in the first place, but his conduct on the job is why he should lose his badge now.”
“The Cleveland Police Department (CPD) still has a long way to go on the road to reform, and going forward, the city must ensure timelier accountability for officers who break either the law or CPD rules. We urge the Department of Justice to continue enforcing the consent decree with the city of Cleveland to the fullest extent of the law, so that these devastating tragedies are not repeated.”
Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization and has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund or LDF.